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In the Matter of the will of ANTERO MERCADO, deceased.

GARCIA, petitioner,
90 Phil 489
November 29, 1951

Facts: Antero Mercado left a will dated January 3, 1943. The will is written in the
Ilocano dialect which is spoken and understood by the testator. The will also
contained an attestation clause which is signed by three witnesses. The attestation
clause states:
We, the undersigned, by these presents to declare that the foregoing testament of
Antero Mercado was signed by himself and also by us below his name and of this
attestation clause and that of the left margin of the three pages thereof. Page three
the continuation of this attestation clause; this will is written in Ilocano dialect
which is spoken and understood by the testator, and it bears the corresponding
number in letter which compose of three pages and all them were signed in the
presence of the testator and witnesses, and the witnesses in the presence of the
testator and all and each and every one of us witnesses.
The will appears to have been signed by Atty. Florentino Javier who wrote the name
of Antero Mercado, followed below by "A ruego del testador" and the name of
Florentino Javier. Antero Mercado is alleged also to have written a cross
immediately after his name.
Issue: Whether or not the attestation clause in the will is valid.
Ruling: No. The attestation clause is fatally defective for failing to state that Antero
Mercado caused Atty. Florentino Javier to write the testator's name under his
express direction, as required by section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. When
the testator expressly caused another to sign the formers name, this fact must be
recited in the attestation clause. Otherwise, the will is fatally defective.
Moreover, the cross appearing on the will is not the usual signature of Antero
Mercado nor is it even one of the ways by which he signed his name. After mature
reflection, the Court is not prepared to liken the mere sign of the cross to a
thumbmark, and the reason is obvious. The cross cannot and does not have the
trustworthiness of a thumbmark. Thus, the cross cannot be considered a valid